Developing a Strong Economy for Delta County

428 Main St., STE 101, Delta, CO 970-874-4992               


Brad Harding is the Marketing President of First Colorado National  Bank in Paonia.  Brad has been the DCED President for the past 3 years, being elected on the Board in April 2008. 

Brad is a fifth generation resident of Delta County, graduating from CSU with a B.S. in Fisheries Biology.  His entrepreneurial side took over in 1998 where he began a 6 year career in the investment and securities field.  Brad started his trek home to Western Colorado where he started work for US Bank in Aspen as the VP of Commercial Banking.  He was fortunate to return to Delta County as a member of the ownership group that purchased The First National Bank of Paonia-Delta in April, 2007. The bank was renamed to First Colorado National Bank where he serves as President. 


I love Delta County.  My natural interests in the recreational opportunities and the beauty of this area make it an ideal fit to call home.  I believe our local communities can be more than they currently are.  Having been a part of healthy businesses in the past and with my entrepreneurial nature, I believe I add value and insight into what is good for our community. The local background knowledge I’ve obtained by being a community banker, gives me further insight into our community.  I’m committed to doing what it takes in building a strong, thriving economy in Delta County.”


Thomas H. Huerkamp is one of Delta County’s most senior continuous business operators.  He has been and continues to be the president and active CEO of the company he and his wife formed over 43 years ago.  In 1967 he came to Delta County and was employed by the DELTA COUNTY INDEPENDENT, at the time a bi-weekly publication, as a reporter and photographer. In late 1968 they founded THE SENTRY, a weekly newspaper in Cedaredge.  That paper won several Press Assn. Awards in the areas of community service, photography and advertising.  While still operating the newspaper, the Huerkamps founded Grand Mesa Office Supply in 1969.  In 1971 they disposed of their newspaper interests and committed full energy to the office machine, supply and furniture venture.

Active in community affairs Huerkamp has served on the Board of Directors and as President of the Chamber of Commerce in both Cedaredge and Delta.  He is a member of the Montrose and Grand Junction Chambers as well, the Montrose Economic Development Council, the Grand Junction Economic Partnership and was active in the founding of the Delta County Economic Development, Inc. a board which he still serves on today.

“Economic development is about a lot more than large employee parking lots It is about the ability to sustain, while preserving the life style which is why we live here.”

Phil Schmidt is the General Manager of Phillips Machine Service, Inc.  DCED  was helpful in bringing Phillips Machines to Delta in 2008. Also, once Phillips committed to becoming a member of the Delta area business community, "DCED then assisted our efforts as we established a business within the “city limits of Delta County”.  Phillips, in a sense, is a poster child for DCED. "I have volunteered to be a board member so that I might share that experience with others and to also provide my knowledge of the North Fork Valley mining operations.“  Collectively I have worked at the mines in the valley, and now with Phillips, for over 30 years I hope to bring that experience and that connection to the DCED Board.
Larry Traubel is the owner of Cropworx, Western Colorado's largest supplier of conventional and organic agricultural chemicals, seed, and fertilizer.

An Arizona native with a degree in Ag Business & Agronomy from the University of Arizona, Larry has been involved  in agriculture his whole life. For over twenty years he has grown fruit in Cedaredge.

As a small business owner, "I'm committed to supporting local business in Western Colorado and encouraging our rural way of life".

Bruce Hovde, as County Commissioner, has represented the Board of Delta County Commissioners for four years.  Bruce was raised on the family farm in Mesa, Arizona where they grew cotton and alfalfa.  In addition to farming he was a partner in a farm equipment dealership, commercial real estate and was a custom home builder.


Bruce and his wife Nancy moved to Cedaredge 30 years ago.  Since living in Cedaredge he has been very involved in many community organizations including: The Cedaredge Public Library Foundation, Delta County Memorial Hospital Foundation, DCED, Littlest Angel Adoption Agency and is past President of the Cedaredge Chamber of Commerce.  Bruce is looking forward to many more years of being on the Board of DCED, the preservation of existing businesses and bringing new business into Delta County.


Scott Thomassen was born in Pella, Iowa and grew up in Golden, CO.  He attended Western State College in Gunnison and worked on a geophysical crew for oil exploration in Pratt, KS.  In 1982, Scott moved to Cedaredge for the quality of life and outdoor opportunities, where he owned and operated a live fishing bait business for almost 10 years.    He also worked for Skyland Food Co. until 1995 when they closed.  Together with his wife Gynee, they opened Classic Computers in Delta in 1995. They currently offer services in computer repair, rebuilding and customizing for their clients needs.  Gynee and Scott have 2 daughters.  Scott joined the DCED Board in 2009.


Mary Cooper is currently the City of Delta’s Mayor Pro Tem.  She was appointed to City Council on May 3, 2005 to fill the District B seat.  She was then elected to a partial term of two years in 2006.  She was again elected for a four year term in 2008 and also in 2012.  Her current term expires in 2016.   Mary serves as a liaison for the Delta City Council on the following boards/committees:  Delta County Economic Development, Project 7, Colorado Municipal League Policy Committee and Club 20.  She has been very active in the City of Delta’s Alternate Truck Route Project/Confluence Drive. 

Mary and her husband, Cliff, previously owned and operated Delta Motor Parts.  They sold their business to retire and spend more time with family and friends. 

Ed Marston has lived in Paonia since 1974, except for a 1990-1991 sabbatical at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow and the spring 2001 semester, which he spent teaching journalism at UC Berkeley. With Betsy Marston, he founded and ran a Delta County weekly newspaper, North Fork Times, from 1975 to 1980, now part of the Delta County Independent. The couple also founded and ran a regional biweekly, Western Colorado Report, from 1982 to 1983. From 1983 to 2002, Ed was the publisher of High Country News, a regional newspaper covering the Western United States for 23,000 subscribers. The paper had subscribers in all 50 states and employed 23 people in Paonia and scores of free-lance writers around the west. Ed has written or edited several books: The Dynamic Environment (John Wiley and Sons, 1975); Western Water Made Simple (Island Press, 1987), Reopening the Western Frontier (Island Press, 1989), and Ranching West of the 100th Meridian (Island Press, 2001). His 35,000-word “Colorado Memoir” is in Colorado: 1870-2000, by W.H. Jackson and John Fielder (Westcliffe Publishers, 1999). Ed is president of the board of Solar Energy International, a not-for-profit Paonia outfit that has trained 35,000 people so far in solar design, installation and financing. He also served for 18 years on the board of Delta-Montrose Electric Association. The Marstons own two commercial buildings on Paonia’s Grand Avenue. Betsy and Ed raised two children, Wendy and David, in Paonia and have two grandchildren, Maude and Bruno.

Ed thinks economic development is important to Delta County to create and maintain the vitality of the county. He believes the rough patch we are currently in will be overcome as the county comes together to solve its problems and create new opportunities.


As the IT Manager for the Delta County Library District, John Gavan brings nearly thirty years of general management and Information Technology experience to the Library District.  Since joining the Library District in mid 2011, John has managed the upgrade of the library network and the public use computers employed in the branch libraries.

Prior to joining the Library District, John was the Director of the Project Management Office at GXS Inc.  GXS is one of the largest B2B services companies in the world.  John was responsible for the management of key programs, integration of acquired businesses and the technical due diligence associated with an aggressive M&A program.  Before this, John was the IT Manager at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC on a multi-year contract administered by SAIC, Inc.

For eighteen years, John was a system engineering and IT director at MCI Telecommunications Corp. and later WorldCom after its acquisition of MCI.  In this role John was responsible for leading software engineering teams in creating new products and services.  John led the team that developed MCI’s web portal which was the one of the first B2B web platforms fielded in the telecommunications industry.  Prior to this, John was involved in the development of many of MCI’s enhanced services such as MCI Mail, one of the first public e-mail services as well as network fax, calling card and voice mail services.

John received a BS degree in Engineering from the State University of NY Maritime College.  He served in the US Navy aboard a guided missile destroyer as an engineering and communications officer.  John also has an MBA in Finance from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

John lives in the North Fork Valley where he is designing and building a new house that is striving to meet a near “Net Zero” energy use profile.  


Caryn Gibson is a skilled educational leader with 26 years of experience in public education.  Ms. Gibson became the Delta County School District Superintendent in 2012.  She leads the District’s mission of “Caring, Challenging, Learning . . . Every Student, Every Day!”  Ms. Gibson oversees all aspects of the District, which includes over 5,000 students, 750 staff and a budget of over $35 million.  She began her career in education as a high school business teacher and coach.  Then she moved into administration where she was an Assistant Principal, Financial Aid Director and then Director of Delta Montrose Technical College.  In 2010 she moved to the District Office for Delta County Schools where she has served as the Human Resource Director before accepting the position of Superintendent.  Caryn joined the DCED Board in 2012.

Jason Cleckler is the CEO for Delta County Memorial Hospital (DCMH).  He received his BSN degree from California State University at Humboldt with a focus on rural healthcare. Throughout his career Jason worked in a variety of nursing positions to include inpatient psychiatry, ER/Trauma and ICU. He taught psychiatric nursing at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs for a short time. He moved to Colorado in 1995 to Colorado Springs and then moved from Colorado Springs to the Western Slope in 2005. Jason began working at DCMH in 2008 as the Trauma Coordinator and moved from that position to being the ER manager/Trauma Program Manager. He then assumed the role as the Chief Clinical Officer and as of October 2012 the CEO. Jason has two girls ages 12 and 10. His interest outside of work include road and mountain biking, rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, fly fishing and skiing.


Jack Graff comes from a dairy background and is a local commercial farmer.  He has been a leading force in the Soil Health Conference for four years.  Jack is the owner of "Better Compost", a totally natural fertilizing product that focuses on good soil health.


John Angelo, Bank of Colorado - John is currently the Market President for Bank of Colorado in Delta County.  He was born and raised in Gunnison, CO (1993 graduate from high school) and then attended CSU and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business and also holds a Certificate from Texas Christian University in Ranch Management.  He is currently attending the Graduate School of Banking at CU.  He has lived in Delta County since 2004 and currently serves on the Great Beginnings Early Childhood Center Board, is a member of Kiwanis, HopeWest Planned Giving Council and the Community Advisory Council for Volunteers of America.  The reason he is interested in serving on DCED is that he is completely vested in Delta County.  His four children attend Delta County schools, he lives, works and plays in Delta County and wants to contribute to making Delta County a better place. 


Glen Black, City of Delta